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The Autumn Term Outdoor Pursuits began with the children in Year 4 heading to Hollingworth Lake to take part in team building and raft building activities. At the Centre the children were introduced to the instructors who then talked through all the equipment they would be wearing.
The children were then shown the equipment they had to use to make their raft and were split into two teams. Each team was allowed to ask the instructor five questions to obtain five clues which would help them with their raft. It was really tricky but the children worked together really well to ensure their team was a success.
Once the rafts were built the children had great fun racing each other. In order to win they had to work together at making the raft go forwards. This was quite tricky but once they got the hang of it there was no stopping them. The children learnt how to steer the raft left and right and even had a go at paddling backwards. At the end of the session the children had to carry their rafts back to dry land where they dismantled them. All the equipment had to be set up as the children found it when they arrived.
To finish the session the children opted to jump into the lake. Some of the children were very apprehensive but still had a go. To make it less frightening the sat on the side and slid in…by their third go all the children took a big leap, they had concurred their fears and loved every minute of it.
In the Autumn term Year 4 studied the Romans. Their second session of Outdoor Pursuits took them to the Roman Road in Littleborough. On arrival the children talked about what they had been learning in class, one of the things was the clothes the Romans would have worn. Before we set off on our uphill walk the children were asked to consider what it would have been like for the Romans to have worn these clothes on their long journeys. The children thought it would have been difficult especially if it had been cold and wet. Walking to the top of the Roman Road was a test for some of the children however they persisted and got to the top whichever way they could. At the top the children were all thrilled to see how far they had walked, the minibus looked like a small white dot in the distance and the children loved the views.
On the way back the children wanted to venture off the path and walk through the long grass and the very tall ferns. It was really tricky at some points as the fern was taller than the children, they were brilliant and worked together really well to support each other on their decent. They had to assess the ground and find a safe route back to the bus as a group, once again all the children supported each other all the way.
Year 6 took their learning into the woods at Hollingworth Lake by taking part a WW1 shelter building workshop. On arrival they had a short introduction to the workshop and the history of the WW1 camp. They looked at old photographs of the camps and had to use these to find the camps exact location in the fields. The children were then split into five teams and were given a kit bag before they marched off into the woods. In the woods the children found a base camp and cookhouse as it would have been during WW1. The team’s first jobs were to build themselves a shelter using the kit from their bag. They had to a suitable place to build their shelter, thinking about the weather and terrain. Step by step guides were provided in each bag for the children to follow.
Whilst the teams were building their shelters one group at a time was called upon to help set up and prepare the food in the kitchen area. The jobs included washing and chopping veg, building a fire, lighting a fire collecting fire wood and cooking. The trench stew was cooking, it was now time for shelter inspection. Each group had worked really hard and had created a fantastic shelter with their team.
When the shelters were complete and the trench stew was ready all the children gathered in the centre of the camp. At this point in the day the children listened to some of the experiences the soldiers would have had whilst they were training at the camp, learning the importance of team work, personal survival and looking after the environment. The Rangers also read out a post card from a soldier called Jack who had been at the camp at Hollingworth Lake. The children thought it was quite sad that he had no idea what lied ahead of him. To finish the session the children had a lovely drink of hot chocolate and a biscuit before they had to dismantle the camp they had built, there was to be no trace that they had ever been there. They did a great job and had all thoroughly enjoyed the WW1 camp experience.
Year 1 have been helping to develop the new Forest School site which is located on Roch valley way. It is a great area for all children to explore and there are so many things each Year group can do to help develop it. Year 1 planted lots of Spring bulbs at the back of the woods. They each were given three bulbs and they had to find somewhere safe to plant them. Children also had to think about where small animals might like to live in the woods, we discussed what kind of animals might live there, the children then began building cosy little homes for them to live in. They thought really hard about what they would need, gathered the resources and created some really nice homes. We are hoping to take the children back to the site to see if their bulbs have grown later this month.
Last year the children in Year 1 planted small trees in the car park area at the site, they have really grown and the children are very keen to go back and take a look at them. This is something we are aiming to do as part of their Outdoor Learning in the next couple of weeks.
In the first half of the Spring term Year 5 took part in team building games, a bouldering session and a high wall climbing session. The bouldering and climbing took place at Matthew Moss High School as they have all the equipment and expertise needed to run the sessions. Miss Parkinson led the high wall climbing and Miss Greenwood led the bouldering session. The children found both very challenging at times however each overcame their fears and climbed further than they had expected. Some children reached the top more than once which was amazing as the wall is very very high.
The facilities at Matthew Moss are fantastic and are available for our school to use every Thursday afternoon. Year 5 took advantage of this and used the gym facilities to test their fitness levels; these sessions were led by Miss Parkinson. We have also used the large sports hall at Matthew Moss to host our termly interschool athletics competition. In the Autumn term children from Year 5 and Year 6 took part in the competition, they were split into two team and were very successful finishing 1st and 2nd out of six teams. We have now purchased a winners shield for the competitions and we are very proud to be the first school to etch our names onto it.
Street Dance and Cheerleading are once again running after school and will continue to run throughout the year. In both clubs the children are learning a number of different dances and routines in preparation for the final assembly.
In the Easter Holidays the school will be host to the very popular drama school. Once again children from other local schools will come to Marland Hill to put together a performance which will take part on day three. We are also hoping to do some activities at Hollingworth Lake in the Summer Holidays.